Fear of Russian Invasion, Flights from Ukraine Full

Fear of Russian Invasion, Flights from Ukraine Full

Latvian flag carrier Air Baltic is setting up additional flights from Kyiv this week. This flight schedule increase is to accommodate the surge in passengers after European countries ordered their citizens to leave Ukraine or avoid the risk of war with Russia.

"I didn't feel calm in Kyiv, and my parents were worried. So I decided to go home and wait for the next few weeks, until things became clearer," one passenger, Giedrius Paurys told Reuters after he and his wife got off the extra flight. Tuesday (15/2/2022).

Ummatimes - The United States last week warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on the country's people to raise the flag and sing the national anthem in unison on February 16. The act of singing the national anthem and waving the flag was on February 16, the date on which some Western media said Russia might attack Ukraine.

The warning prompted Air Baltic's regular flights to Riga on Tuesday (15/2/2022) to sell out in no time. As a result, the company will schedule additional rotations this Tuesday and Wednesday to cope with higher demand.

As of Tuesday afternoon, at least 66 people had reserved seats for additional flights. With only two bookings made to fly to Kyiv, the Airbus flew 145 seats and returned to Ukraine almost empty.

The condition of the passengers, not all of them are worried about the current conditions. "I didn't want to go, my husband forced me," Inga Paurys said with a laugh. She and her husband, Giedrius, are Lithuanians who live and work in Kyiv.

"He read all this news and got scared, and I didn't do that, so Kyiv is fine for me. Nothing has changed, we still visit restaurants and sports clubs," Inga said.

Neighboring Estonia is one of several countries that have warned their citizens to flee Ukraine. The local government asked its remaining citizens to board an extra Baltic air flight and return home.

"Some of my friends have left Kyiv. Some have nowhere to go, they are stressed and hope nothing happens. Others are preparing to fight, and some are just panicking," said Natalia Vereshko, a Ukrainian living in France. who took the flight with his daughter. "But on the street, calm down," he added.

The plane bound for Kyiv left Riga with full fuel tanks to be able to turn around quickly if the situation suddenly took a turn for the worse, airBaltic Chief Executive Martin Gauss told Reuters.

"In extreme cases, even if we have the plane in the air, we can order it to return," he said.

The company expects tickets under 100 euros to make the flight extra profitable. "Bookings for flights between Kyiv and Riga for this weekend are proceeding at a normal pace, with people choosing to fly both ways," Gauss said.

But Russia has denied these concerns. The Kremlin's statement, as late as Tuesday afternoon, said the US statement that Russia was ready to attack Ukraine was unfounded hysteria.